White House Announces Executive Actions On Gun Control

The Biden administration has announced a number of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence in the wake of a series of mass shootings that shocked the country.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the executive actions Thursday.

In the first step, the Justice Department will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of the so-called “ghost guns” within 30 days, the White House said.

Ghost guns are weapons sold without serial numbers or other identifying information. Criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes. When these firearms turn up at crime scenes, they often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number.

The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a ‘stabilizing brace’ effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act. The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable.

The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states to follow. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people who present a danger to themselves or others from accessing firearms.

The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking and annual updates to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking.

The President will nominate David Chipman as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. ATF is the key federal agency enforcing gun laws in the U.S., which has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman, who served as special agent at ATF for 25 years, is a senior policy adviser at Giffords, the major gun control advocacy group.

The Biden Administration is taking a number of steps to prioritize investment in community violence interventions.

U.S. cities are going through a historic spike in homicides and violence targeting Black and brown Americans. The recent high-profile mass shooting in Boulder killed 10 people, and another one in Atlanta claimed the lives of eight, including six Asian American women.

“The President is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence – community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm,” said a statement issued by the White House. President Biden is reiterating his call for Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence, it added.

Last month, a bipartisan coalition in the House passed two bills to close loopholes in the gun background check system.

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